Our team is dedicated to inspiring a passion for reading among some of the nation’s neediest children. Learn more about the outstanding individuals leading the way at Book Trust:
Amy Friedman, Executive Director
In April 2011, Amy joined Book Trust after a career with Denver Public Schools where she began as a classroom teacher and spent several years in key leadership roles. She brings with her a wealth of public education knowledge and pertinent skills being that Denver Public Schools is a district of 80,000 students—and over 70% of them come from low-income families. She was an English-as-second language teacher, supported the district’s English language acquisition program, led the district’s choice and charter school initiatives, and served as the chief of staff to the chief academic officer and superintendent.
Book Trust is Amy’s opportunity to lead an organization committed to her passion—creating better lives for kids living in low-income families. Book Trust changes the lives of underprivileged children through books. Amy believes that improving literacy skills, particularly among poor children, is the first step to closing the achievement gap, which she sees as the civil rights challenge of our generation.
Amy is a graduate of Georgetown University where she earned a Bachelor’s in Linguistics and a Master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language.
Favorite children's books: The Fuzzy Duckling (Jane Werner Watson), The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein), and A Fish Out of Water (Helen Palmer Geisel)
Current Top Picks: The Red Tent (Anita Diamant), Cutting for Stone (Abraham Verghese), and State of Wonder (Ann Pratchett)
Donna Frost, Director of Finance and Operations
Donna is responsible for all financial administration including business planning, budgeting, forecasting, reporting and analysis. Her non-profit experience includes working at a contemporary art museum directing all financial, accounting and human resource operations. Prior to that, she worked for a local philanthropist/entrepreneur to manage all non-profit and philanthropic giving objectives and political candidate committee reporting. She believes books spark the imagination in children to help them to become lifelong learners. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Admin from Regis University with an emphasis in Management and Human Resources.
Donna’s commitment to the nonprofit community is summed up in her favorite quote from The Lorax “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better . It’s not.” . . .
Favorite children’s books: Are You My Mother? (P D Eastman) and Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown)
Frances Graham, Director of Philanthropic Partnerships
Frances Graham joined Book Trust in 2010 and is responsible for the national fundraising strategy and outreach efforts for the organization. She has been a fundraiser and worked with nonprofits for more than a decade, specializing in member relations, events, grants, and corporate sponsorships. Prior to that, she managed client relations for a Seattle advertising agency, was a substitute teacher, and led environmental education programs.
Frances believes wholeheartedly in providing children with the tools essential to navigate life successfully—books being the most important. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's in Journalism and Antioch University Seattle with a Master's in the Environment and Community. As one of our telecommuters, she lives in the little farming town of Churchill, Montana, and loves reading with her daughters every day, including their favorites: Leonardo the Terrible Monster, The Little Engine that Could, Owl Moon, Big Red Barn, and Gossie.
Favorite children's books: Amelia Badelia (Peggy Parrish), Bread and Jam for Frances (Russell Hoban), and Raggedy Ann's Sweet and Dandy, Sugar Shack Candy Scratch and Sniff Book (Patricia Thackray).
Kelly McFarland, Development Manager
Kelly joined Book Trust as Development Manager in December 2013. She has a knack for analyzing data and organizing systems. Kelly provides organizational support to the development team, including managing the database system. She is a Colorado native and obtained her Bachelor’s in Microbiology from Colorado State University.
After a career in clinical research, she began working in the nonprofit sector and has several years’ experience working with local, national and international organizations focused on youth development and health services including Water For People, AIDS United AmeriCorps and Boys & Girls Clubs. Kelly is also an adventurous traveler and has completed a solo round the world trip. Kelly is passionate about working with children and inspiring them to become lifelong learners. She is very grateful to have joined such a wonderful family of staff, volunteers and donors.
Favorite children’s books: The Westing Game (Ellen Raskin), From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (E.L. Konigsburg), Bridge to Terabithia (Katherine Paterson)
Ann Nicol, Director, Hawaii
Ann joined Book Trust in fall 2011 and oversees development and fundraising efforts for the state of Hawaii. Through collaboration with the Maui and Oahu regional boards, she works to raise awareness of and support for the Book Trust program in Hawaii. Ann’s previous nonprofit experience includes human resources and community engagement work with Teach For America. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, concentrating in finance.
As a young girl, reading instilled a sense of adventure in Ann as books whisked her away to other worldly adventures. She credits her favorite childhood book, Island of the Blue Dolphins, as the impetus to her creating her home in Hawaii and her desire to see its children grow in their love of exploring new worlds through reading.
Michelle Striker, Director of Philanthropic Partnerships
Michelle joined Book Trust in 2011. Michelle has extensive marketing and fundraising experience in the nonprofit community and has worked to enrich diverse communities throughout the metro Denver area for the last decade. In Michelle’s role at Book Trust, she is leading the effort to engage Colorado philanthropists in Book Trust’s mission to change the lives of underprivileged children. Michelle graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism and earned her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado in Denver.
All time favorite children's book: The BFG (Roald Dahl)
Beth Sundberg, Program Director
Beth joined Book Trust in the summer of 2013 as the program director. In this role, Beth is responsible for providing support to Book Trust teachers across the country. She has a background in both the non-profit sector and elementary education. As an educator Beth taught high school in rural Japan, worked as a reading tutor, and taught first grade. Beth believes that learning to read and having access to books is fundamental to a child’s success. And she credits her own first grade teacher, Sarah Seeker, with giving her the passion for reading.
Beth has an undergraduate degree in Comparative Politics from the University of Puget Sound and a master’s degree in Instruction and Curriculum with an emphasis in Reading from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Favorite Children’s Books: Chrysanthemum (Kevin Henkes) and Little House on the Prairie (Laura Ingalls Wilder)